Last Mother's Day, Aaron bought and planted 5 apple trees for me in our front yard. Come spring they were bursting with luscious white flowers, and they have bravely gone on to grow a LOT of apples. I was surprised at how fruitful they were only one season in. As the season has progressed, I have noticed those blossoms first growing into tiny apples and then bigger and bigger and bigger until the poor baby trees are now bending from the weight of the huge apples that they are producing.
When I walk past my apple trees to load my 3 little ones into the car, I notice this, and I without fail think-- that is exactly how I feel right now. Overloaded and bending under the weight of my responsibilities, but not breaking.
I am the tiny apple tree (use your imagination on the "tiny" part...I claim pregnancy on this one). I am loaded down with blessings, GOOD things, a beautiful family. And I am surprised how far I can bend to do what the Lord has sent me to do without a single branch breaking.
(photo by Norrie Thompson)We are going to pick those apples soon. (I already snuck a couple off and they are DELICIOUS.) The trees will grow that much stronger and be ready for next season. A slow growth with capabilities to grow more and more apples-- to bear more and more weight.
Maybe it's a bit weird to feel a kinship with my apple trees, but hey, I've been accused (and guilty) of far worse. I feel the weight of being a special needs parent, of being a parent with three small children who are still working on being civilized human beings, of being pregnant, of being a wife to a man with such a demanding career that I am left alone with the kids all weekdays most of the spring/summer/fall, and the weight of trying to be a decent human being in the midst of it all (confession: I realized today that I scowl all the way through the grocery store as I juggle children, coupons, and more children. I will work on it.)
I'm bending...but not breaking. It's been a fascinating study to watch these tress continue to bend, and the beautiful apples that have grown out of those tiny white blossoms. Lucky for the trees, it's fall, and they will get a break soon from their load. Just in time to gear back up for another season. The fun never ends. (-;
I am thankful for my weights, thankful for the beauty of growth, and thankful for the strength of someone much bigger than myself who holds a hand out for those large apples to rest on just when I think my branch might snap. After all, he's the one who created the tree in the first place.